According to reports filed with the Washington State Department of Ecology, over 5000 children’s products contain toxic chemicals that are linked to cancer, hormone disruption, and reproductive problems. The Washington Toxics Coalition and Safer States performed an analysis of the reports and found that several major companies that manufacture kids’ products are using a total of 41 chemicals identified by Ecology as a concern for children’s health. Some of these problematic chemicals include toxic metals such as cadmium, mercury, and antimony, plus organic compounds such as phthalates. Walmart, Gap, Gymboree, Hallmark and H & M are just some of the companies who admit they use these chemicals in various products marketed specifically to children and adolescents. The report notes that the toxic products include items such as children’s clothing and footwear, personal care products, baby products, toys, car seats, and arts and craft supplies. Some specific products containing harmful chemicals include:
- Hallmark party hats which contain cancer-causing arsenic.
- Graco car seats which contain a toxic flame retardant TBBPA (tetrabromobisphenol A).
- Claire’s cosmetics which contain cancer-causing formaldehyde.
- Walmart dolls which contain hormone-disrupting bisphenol A (BPA).
Erika Schreder, science director for the Washington Toxics Coalition notes, “The data shows store shelves remain full of toxic chemicals that we know are a concern for children’s health. These reports are critical for understanding the presence of toxic chemicals in our homes and the marketplace.”